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Canadian Dancer Andrew Prashad on Teaching His Young Son With Spina Bifida to Tap Dance


Doctors told Prashad that Ezra, now 6, would never walk. He defied the odds, and has now started dancing.

Canadian dancer Andrew Prashad recently chatted with The Toronto Star about how he taught his disabled son how to tap dance.

Ezra, now 6, was born with spina bifida, and doctors told Prashad and his wife, Beth, at 23 weeks pregnant, that their child would never be able to walk.

"I'm a tap dancer," Prashad said, "so it hit me hard because I loved dancing with my daughters, teaching them moves."

Ezra defied the odds, learning to crawl at just over a year old. As a toddler, he was able to stand while wearing custom leg braces, and eventually he learned to walk. Then he started dancing.

"I want to respect his disability," Prashad said. "The goal was never to 'fix' anything. He's not broken. He is who he is. We just want to help him develop as best he can."

Prashad and his wife now advocate for better accessibility. Before Ezra began school, they contacted the local school about making the play area accessible for his walker and wheelchair. They also pushed the city of Mississauga to replace the sand at the local park with wood chips and clear the snow from the sidewalks near their home.

Plus, through Prashad's one-man show "One Step at a Time", he has been able to raise $9,300 for SickKids and ErinoakKids, where Ezra gets physio, occupational and speech therapy.

"People are always asking how we manage this," he said. "The way we get through it is by taking it one step at a time. When you zoom out and look at everything, it can be overwhelming. But if you just take one thing at a time, it's a lot more manageable."

Check out a video of Prashad and Ezra dancing below!

Read more on The Toronto Star.

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